Hilary Jackendoff: What Yoga Nidra Means to Me

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Observe with Hilary on Wanderlust TV: her new assortment, Reclaim Your Proper to Relaxation, is a 4-part yoga nidra collection that may assist wholesome sleep habits and permit deep therapeutic. Entry this assortment, together with hundreds of yoga, meditation and motion courses on WLTV with a free 14-day WLTV trial.


I’ve been speaking concerning the life-changing advantages of relaxation and yoga nidra for almost 15 years, and I’ve by no means wavered in my evangelizing as a result of I do know simply how highly effective this apply actually is.

Let’s journey again to the day all of it started for me: February 9, 2008. I hate to be dramatic, however that basically was ‘the day my life modified eternally.’

I used to be residing in New Zealand and wanted a ‘break’ from my boyfriend on the time, so I went on retreat to a conventional yoga ashram. I used to be mendacity on the heated ground of a yurt, overlooking Golden Bay, being guided into my first yoga nidra by a particularly tall, extraordinarily blonde German sannyasin (yogic monk) named Swami Marutdeva.

hilary jackendoff yoga nidraI had been struggling by means of my adolescence and early 20s with insomnia and anxiousness (and this was earlier than smartphones). I had been training meditation in a Buddhist custom for some time by this level, however the methods I’d practiced at my native Kadampa heart in Philadelphia by no means landed. I by no means felt peaceable. I at all times simply felt like I used to be sitting in a pool of my very own psychological filth for an excruciating 45 minutes at a time.

Yoga nidra was totally different, although. That very apply delivered all the great things. I felt like I melted effortlessly right into a state of what I can solely describe as bliss. Right away, I lastly understood what was doable by means of meditation. I lastly understood what it felt wish to let go—to launch all pressure. To expertise a quiet thoughts. To maneuver past the thoughts. It was a full on non secular expertise. And I wished extra.

I turned a yoga nidra junkie. It’s all I talked about. I organized my life to ensure I obtained my repair on a regular basis. I practiced a lot that in only a few months, I had memorized three 45 minute recordings, syllable by syllable. It utterly shifted my relationship to sleep, and supplied main reduction for my insomnia and anxiousness.

I needed to go even deeper. That October, I went on retreat to spend a while on the yoga lineages’ ashram in India. After a strong non secular expertise in India, I knew I needed to be within the lineage. So in I went. Over the span of 8 years, I took 2 Tantric initiations into the lineage, and spent 2 years residing and finding out at an ashram as a sannyasin.

Throughout a interval at house in New Jersey, between ashram years, I skilled a horrible trauma. I misplaced my childhood finest pal and subsequent door neighbor to a heroin overdose. (I deeply want he may have recognized peace and obliteration of the ego by means of yoga nidra. It may need helped him get off heroin.)

I used to be with Rocky the day earlier than he died, and my final phrases to him had been, “I like you Rock. Don’t you go dying on me.” The following morning, on December 30, 2012, I watched him being carried out by the paramedics from my childhood bed room window.

Hilary Jackendoff I returned to the ashram per week after his funeral to finish my 2nd 12 months of research. Deep in grief and affected by trauma, I skilled a brutal bout of insomnia that lasted 3 months. Yoga nidra was my secure area. It was the one method I may get relaxation. It was the one time I felt peaceable. It was the one factor that stored me sane, on condition that I used to be in such a state of extreme sleep deprivation and emotional ache. It additionally helped me combine the feelings and regularly launch the sensation of accountability I had been holding onto since his dying.

I’ve personally skilled each single one in every of yoga nidra’s transformative advantages: reduction of stress and anxiousness. Restoring my sleep and relaxation. Emotional therapeutic of trauma. Transformation. Letting go. Religious oneness. Yoga nidra has helped me make sense of life. The truth is, it’s supplied me with my life’s path.

The picture above was taken shortly after I obtained my non secular identify from Swami Satsangi Saraswati. Your non secular identify represents your potential, and serves as a mantra to remind you of your highest self every time it’s spoken.

It’s no coincidence that my non secular identify is Om. The mantra of yoga nidra. The image of Om 🕉  represents the 4 states of consciousness—waking, dreaming, sleeping and the fourth—pure consciousness in deep sleep—the state of yoga nidra.

So, I’m going to attempt to stay as much as my identify. I’m going to maintain on retaining on, guiding people into relationship with yoga nidra—the apply and the state—with the hope that it’ll remodel their lives because it did mine.

Hilary Jackendoff -

Hilary Jackendoff is a Yoga Nidra and meditation trainer, in addition to a Instructor Coach and Human Design coach. In 2008, she started finding out Tantric Yoga, then spent two years formally coaching whereas residing at an ashram in Australia. In 2019, she found Human Design and has been creating containers and training choices for de-conditioning, built-in with Yogic practices. Hilary’s work is devoted to sharing accessible instruments and grounded non secular teachings to encourage self-inquiry so you possibly can launch stress and self-judgment and awaken self-love, interior ease, and pleasure.

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